League of Women Voters’ School Board Debate
DO YOU KNOW WHO IS RUNNING FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD?
May 11, 2019
The League of Women Voter’ sponsored a debate that featured the candidates running for the Avon Grove School Board (AGSB). Candidates include Mr Charles Beatty (current school board member, Region I) who is being challenged by Ms Dorothy Linn; Mr Jeff Billig and Ms Tracy Lisi (current school boards members in Region II) who are being challenged by Mr Mark Stewart and Ms Carmela Ciliberti; and Ms Bonnie Wolff and Mr Herman Engel (current school board directors in Region III) who are being challenged by Ms Christina Fanning. All the candidates participated in the debate except for Ms Bonnie Wolff and Mr Mark Stewart.
The debate started with each candidate giving an opening statement.
Each candidate was then asked the following questions:
1. Is PA funding education appropriately?
2. Do you support a new high school?
3. Outside of new facilities, what are the needs for the elementary and middle schools?
4. Do you support enrichment programs for adults being held at the school facilities?
All the candidates supported allowing the community to access enrichment programs at the school facilities.
5. How can School bus safety be improved?
6. Do you support a Community Health Center as part of the new High School?
7. What should be changed in the AG School District?
8. Is there a role for political party affiliation in the school board?
All candidates acknowledged that political party affiliation is part of the election process. You need to declare a party in order to get your name on the ballot. However, politics should not be part of school board deliberations. The focus should be on what is best for the students and the community.
9. What is the impact of the Charter school on the school district?
10. How will you deal with the stress associated with the school board?
In summary, the debate was an excellent opportunity to meet the candidates for the school board. If you are happy with the way the school administration and school board are spending your tax dollars you should consider supporting the current school board members in Region II (Lisi and Billig) and III (Wolff and Engel). They, along with the Ms Linn in Region I, believe the current school board is doing an excellent job and should continue with what they are doing. Mr Billig commented several times on the excellent job Superintendent Marchese is doing in leading the school district. Ms Linn, a former school superintendent, seems to be of the same mind as these incumbents. In addition, she was the one person at the debate who was in favor of establishing a Community Health Center in the new high school.
But if you are concerned with how the current school administration and school board are allocating your tax dollars and their corresponding need to increase your school taxes year after year, you should consider supporting the challengers in Region II (Ciliberti and Stewart) and Region III ( Fanning) and the incumbent in Region I (Beatty). Together, they may be able to offer new voices to the board that will provide a different perspective on how to support our teachers in their important role of delivering high quality education to our students.